I was extremely bullish on Tyler Toffoli‘s fit with the Devils, even though he wasn’t a lock to be on PP1. “Before last season, Toffoli had never topped 31 goals or 29 assists, so expecting a repeat for a guy entering his 11th season in the league seems farfetched. That said, it’s hard to pick a better spot to be in than New Jersey right now for even strength play. People were worried about Toffoli’s power play role to open, but it looks like the Devils are starting with the two balanced unit approach. Personally, I hate it, but it’s a big boost to the value of the guy who normally would be on PP2, which Toffoli looked to be. I’m all the way in.” And that’s me quoting me in my bold predictions saying Toffoli averages at least a point per game. He was off to a solid start, but he had his first big game on Tuesday. Toffoli scored a hat trick on six shots in a revenge game against the Canadiens. That brings Toffoli to 4+2 in five games with 4.5 shots per game. There’s a real chance that he ends up as a top 50 player. Let’s take a look at what else happened in the Monday game and the Frozen Frenzy.
Jake Allen – 36 saves on 37 shots in the 3-1 win over the Sabres. Allen stole this game making some wonderful saves. He’s facing a ton of shots every game so far, which will eventually doom his GAA. I’m fine with holding him as a #3, but it’s fringy.
Tanner Pearson – Goal and an assist with six shots on Monday, one shot Tuesday. Nice to see Pearson back performing after the debacle in Vancouver. He’s a middling streamer unless the minutes go up.
Brendan Gallagher – Goal and an assist with six shots and two PIM over two games. Gallagher used to be a Razzball favorite a.k.a. one of my favorites for fantasy. Now, that’s a thing of the past. Bottom end streamer at best.
Tage Thompson – Two goals and an assist with three shots and two PIM on Tuesday, after a five shot performance on Monday. The chances have been there, but Tage finally found the back of the net again before an empty netter sealed the game. I wouldn’t be discouraged by his start.
Jeff Skinner – Three goals on nine shots over two games. The Sabres have dominated their last three games, and Skinner is starting to round into form. Very good start.
Alex Tuch – Goal and an assist with three shots and seven PIM on Tuesday, three shots Monday. Tuch was on the struggle bus so far, but a great deflection goal got him on the board. I wouldn’t advise fighting Tkachuk too often, but he was feeling it. Considering that Skinner and Casey Mittelstadt (2A Tuesday) have been excellent so far, Tuch can do some real damage if he gets back to last season’s level.
Vladimir Tarasenko – Goal and an assist with four PIM. Weird game as the Sabres were up 5-1 with under five minutes left only for Ottawa to score three goals late. Even in a game Ottawa was down almost in its entirety, Tarasenko only played 14 minutes. I would sell high if possible.
Mathieu Joseph – Goal and an assist with two shots. Great start for Joseph, who Ottawa was looking to cap dump in the offseason. He’s still only a middling streamer, but a good deep league option.
Joseph Woll – 36 saves on 37 shots in the 4-1 win over the Capitals. There’s a real chance that Keefe lets Woll roll in the short term. He’s must own everywhere.
Morgan Rielly – Goal and an assist. It’s fairly boring, but Rielly needs to be held everywhere even with Klingberg on PP1.
Jonas Johansson – 32 save shutout in the 3-0 win over the Hurricanes. There were some okay performances in his first five games, but Johansson allowed at least three goals in all of them. The Lightning are a mess defensively right now, and this game notwithstanding, Johansson isn’t the goalie to bail them out. He’s a massive risk if you can want to play him until Vasilevskiy is back.
Brayden Point – Goal and an assist with two shots. He’s finally on the board with his first goal, although Point already has eight assists in seven games.
Jack Hughes – Four assists with two shots. That’s a ridiculous 14 points in five games for Hughes so far. Props to Jeff for picking him in the Three Point Challenge!
Jake Oettinger – 38 saves on 39 shots in the 4-1 win over the Penguins. There’s my #1 goalie!
Jason Robertson – Goal and an assist with six shots. First goal for Robertson, whose shot rate was down a ton. Very encouraging to see six on net.
Thomas Harley – Goal and an assist with three shots. I’m a fan of Harley in the long term, especially in real life, but there’s not much to see in fantasy.
Anthony Stolarz – 27 saves on 28 shots in the 3-1 win over the Sharks. First game for Stolarz in Florida and he couldn’t have had an easier spot. Stream him in good matchups.
Matthew Tkachuk – Two assists with seven shots. The shots are excellent, but Tkachuk doesn’t have a goal yet. Sounds like a heater is coming.
Mikko Rantanen – Goal and three assists with five shots. I don’t think a player of Rantanen’s caliber has ever been more overlooked. Full blown superstar.
Cale Makar – Goal and two assists. The start to 30 goals and 100 points is on the right path.
Ryan Johansen – Two goals on five shots. The shots have been dreadful the last few seasons in Nashville, but maybe it upticks given how much possession Colorado has? I’m bumping Johansen to elite streamer while Rantanen is on his line.
Valeri Nichushkin – Two assists with four shots and two PIM. Big Val’s lack of PP1 time hasn’t hurt him yet as he’s on a five game point streak.
Cal Clutterbuck – Goal and an assist. And there’s a rare Clutterbuck update!
Jean-Gabriel Pageau – Two assists with a shot and two PIM. Pageau is a source for faceoff wins and that’s it.
Noah Dobson – Two assists with a shot. I was bullish on a Dobson breakout into a top 20 defenseman last season, but it didn’t happen. Perhaps I was simply a year early?
Jordan Eberle – Goal and an assist with five shots and four PIM. It was a slow start for Eberle, like most of his teammates. Solid streamer.
Jaden Schwartz – Two goals on five shots. Middling streamer for Schwartz.
Vince Dunn – Two assists. Dunn has been one of the bright spots with seven points in seven games. The secondary stats are poor though, which is a slight concern. It’s something to monitor.
Jared McCann – Goal and an assist with four shots. McCann earned the benefit of the doubt last season; he’s still an easy hold.
Matty Beniers – Two assists with three shots and two PIM. Really slow start from Beniers, but I’m still giving him some more time. The minutes are there, and I’m patient with players of his talent.
Shayne Gostisbehere – Goal and two assists with three shots. Monster start from Gostisbehere, who is playing some of his best hockey in a long time.
Dylan Larkin – Goal and two assists with three shots and two PIM. Can’t stop, won’t stop. Props to ashtray for picking him in the Three Point Challenge!
Moritz Seider – Two assists with two PIM. In banger leagues, it’s going to be quite valuable. In regular leagues, I’m still extremely skeptical. He’s now under one shot per game.
Jeremy Swayman – 23 save shutout in the 3-0 win over Chicago. Three great starts to open the season for Swayman. The Boston goalies have managed to pick up where they left off last regular season, albeit against a very soft schedule.
Adam Fantilli – Goal and an assist with four shots and two PIM. That’s a goal in two straight for Fantilli, who also has four shots in each game playing 19+ minutes. He’s already on the fringe in shallow leagues.
Pavel Buchnevich – Goal and an assist with three shots in his return to the lineup. Just stay healthy!
Neal Pionk – Two assists with a shot. Pionk is a fine deep league option, but he’s a step or two away from being worthy in 12’ers outside of a hits/blocks streamer.
Evan Bouchard – Goal and two assists with three shots. He was struggling defensively, but it was nice to see Bouchard and the other top Oilers produce without McJesus.
Evander Kane – Goal and an assist with three shots and five PIM. Really ugly start from Kane, so hopefully his Gordie Howe hat trick gets him going. I’m definitely still holding.
Warren Foegele – Two goals on three shots. He’s on the second line right now, but Foegele still doesn’t get the usual second liner minutes because of how Edmonton uses their players. Foegele is more in the bottom end streamer range for me.
Ryan Hartman – Hat trick and two assists with five shots and two PIM. Oh, mama. That’s one way to erase a slow start. Despite the lack of PP1 time, I am always higher than consensus on Hartman. As long as he’s with Kirill Kaprizov (3A) and Mats Zuccarello (1+1), Hartman is on the fringe, if not a bottom end hold.
Jacob Middleton – Three assists with two shots. Easy pass in fantasy.
Joel Eriksson Ek – Goal and an assist with three shots. JEEK has been outstanding and is an easy hold. I wanted to mention for those that play DFS that he played over 21 minutes. It’s worth noting that his minutes are through the roof when he goes against a team that plays their top line huge minutes, just like Edmonton does.
Igor Shesterkin – 24 saves on 25 shots in the 3-1 win over the Flames. Igor has allowed one goal in three of his five games. It’s time to cut out those duds and he’ll get his numbers right back to where we’re used to.
Erik Gustafsson – Goal and an assist. What do you know, Laviolette put Gustafsson on PP2 and the second unit gets a point right away. He’s just on the outside looking in for 12’ers.
Filip Chytil – Two assists with two shots. I’d like to see the minutes higher, but Chytil has six assists in six games. He’s an elite streamer bordering on the fringe as long as he’s with Panarin.
Kevin Fiala – Goal and an assist, as did Anze Kopitar and Adrian Kempe. The Kings dismantled Connor Ingram earlier and scored a couple on Vejmelka as well. All three are clear holds despite being in different tiers.
Jack Eichel – Two assists with four shots. Great start for Eichel, who is doing much better than he did in his first 1.5 seasons with Vegas. Getting back to his peak fantasy level in Buffalo would be a sweet bonus for Eichel owners.
Three Point Challenge: We will do Thursday’s games per usual. For the first few 4-6 weeks of the season, we will use last season’s top 10. That means you can’t select McDavid, Draisaitl, Kucherov, Pastrnak, MacKinnon, Robertson, M. Tkachuk, Rantanen, RNH, or Pettersson. I’ll go with Panarin against the Oilers.
That’s all for now guys. I’ll be back on Friday recapping the action from the next two nights. If you haven’t read Jules’ weekly preview post, you can check that out here. JKJ’s weekend streaming post will be out on Thursday so be sure to check that out as well! As always, feel free to ask any questions, leave any comments, or give any suggestions below. Thanks for reading, take care!